Another post about Instagram's policy change

I love Instagram. The social part is awesome, as I love to follow fellow crafters and bloggers to see what creativity they're coming up with today. And I love adding filters to my photos, especially otherwise crappy cell phone photos that can be improved with a little filtering from Instagram.

There's a huge outrage today at some changes in Instagram's policy that will, essentially, allow them the possibility of selling your photos to a third party without compensating you or asking your permission. I hadn't heard of it until a friend brought it up to me, then I spotted a comment on another blog's Facebook page, and saw more postings on Twitter.

The thing is - Instagram is owned by Facebook now. Facebook also has the right to your information and the right to distribute it, along with Pinterest, or Shutterfly, and countless other sites. Their terms claim things like they'll only use your information and photos to further develop their product, but an argument could be made by anyone that selling your photo to a third party benefits their product, so this language is always broad so they don't get sued in the future. Pinterest even allows OTHER users to use what you pin. So if you pin a family photo, guess what, they and other users own it.

How many people getting upset at Instagram are going to close their Facebook accounts, or their Pinterest accounts? Just like when everyone got upset at Chik-Fil-A because the owner's values don't align with theirs (or mine, I just want to be clear on this) - how many of them stopped shopping at all the other companies whose owners have the same values? (And there are plenty). People need someone to get upset with and I don't think deleting your Instagram account today is going to solve all your problems.

The solution, if you don't want anyone having access to use your images, is to simply not post any, ever. If you post something on a blog or social media, ANYONE could use them. So you make your Facebook page private. What's to stop your high school friend who you thought was trust worthy from taking your photo and sending it to one of their friends, who then sells it to a magazine? Is it ethical? No. Is it legal? I am not sure. (Honestly, I do not know whether you would win if you sued the person who sold your photo).

I think the real thing to take away from Instagram's policy change is to be CAREFUL what you post. Don't post something online that you wouldn't want the whole world to one day see. Will the whole world see it? Will Instagram sell that photo you took of your feet by the pool? In most cases, probably not. But it could happen. So if you don't want the public to see that photo of you in your underwear with the lampshade on your head singing Twist and Shout a la Ferris Bueller, don't post it!

I'd also like to add that one thing you can do is to watermark those Instagram shots. Take your photos with your native phone camera, open up an app like Phonto, and add a copyright and your name. THEN share it via Instagram. Most ad agencies wouldn't touch a copyrighted photo. I love Iris Photo Suite because it already adds a copyright symbol when you add text to your photo. 


  1. Yes! Thank you! I've actually laughed a few times at things I've read on twitter over a product that is completely free and nobody is required to use. And I'm a big time user of instagram! But I also know I am puttting things out there on the web everytime I use it. There's nothing to stop people from right clicking my image and saving it for their use. So of course I think about everything I put out there before putting it out there. But wait....does this mean my cat could become famous? ;) *kidding*

  2. My favorite comment to all of this had something to do with "No, Instagram doesn't want your crappy photo of food with some stupid filter on it in an attempt to make it pretty." ;)

    That said, I still deleted my account... creeps me out a bit too much. I may start another blog-related account with the watermark idea (because seriously, that's GENIUS), but I won't be posting any personal photos without that idea!